The grand annual tradition of the Pilot Club of Conyers' Christmas Tour of Homes returns on Dec. 8, 1 p.m. - 5 p.m., after a two year hiatus with four homes in the historic Olde Town district and one commercial office.
The fundraiser for the club, which supports brain injury issues and causes, will feature the homes of Jena Hudson at 869 Rosser Street, the Flynts at 1291 Shadowlawn Drive, the Bryants at 1260 Shadowlawn Drive, the Bittengers at 1340 Northside Drive, and the office of attorney Jorge Flores, a first for the tour.
The locations on the tour cover a range of building histories and ages, from very new to historic but renovated and reincarnated. All the homes on the tour will be swathed in Christmas decor, reflecting the eclectic tastes and styles of the owners.
Tickets are $12 before the they day of the tour and $18 on the day of at the Olde Jail. To purchase tickets, call the Conyers Welcome Center at 404-394-3474 or contact a Pilot Club member.
Hudson, 869 Rosser Street
The three bedroom craftsman style house was built in 2007 and exemplifies heavy use of wood and architectural detail. The living room has a box effect with focus on a marble fireplace. The kitchen is open and airy, with marble countertops and custom made cabinets. It offers two stories with a beautifully designed staircase and a second level vaulted ceiling. It features a gentle sloping rooftop, wide eaves and a large front porch with tapered columns. The home is located in the beautiful historic district of Olde Town Conyers.
The Flynts, 1291 Shadowlawn Drive
It’s a traditional home was built in 1987. It has remained unchanged with one exception – a large patio and family room were added in 2005. A brick fireplace anchors an antique hand hewn mantle from Taliaferro County. An old pump organ rescued from a Catholic convent in Sharon, Ga. sits in the foyer. Sentimental treasures include antique clocks, furniture, and hand painted china from both families. Art by local artists and by the owner’s maternal grandmother can be found throughout the home. The tree is filled with meaningful ornaments accumulated through the years, including some from former students. The home is an eclectic blend of antiques, family pieces and estate sale finds.
The Bryants, 1260 Shadowlawn Drive
The home is located in Valley Estates, one of the first subdivisions to be developed in Olde Town. It was built in 1979 and is quite typical of the ranch houses built in that era. The Byrants purchased the home in 1984. A renovation in 2009 created a large open living area. The house is furnished in a very eclectic manner, combining an interesting assortment of items from a variety of unique sources, up to and possibly including the side of the road, with favorite family pieces. A large deck provides the perfect place to best appreciate the large wooded lot. Natural and rustic décor set the theme for Christmas.
The Bittingers (Brooke and Tammy), 1340 Northside Drive
A sprawling ranch built in the early 1960s is better known as “The Pines” since it sits among two acres of Georgia pine trees. Originally designed by owner/architects, it was later owned by the Murrahs before being purchased by family friends Brooke and Tammy Bittinger in 1995. The home retains its ‘60s charm while it has expanded to enclose the back porch and carport to accommodate children that have enjoyed growing up in this home including the current owner’s twin sons. The dining room has a Honduran mahogany wainscoting and the large but cozy den is wrapped in solid cherry paneling. Surrounding the back property and pool is a large brick fence topped off with all the southern pineapple ornamentation – so appropriate for the many festive social events that have graced this home and grounds over the years.
Office of Jorge Luis Flores, 909 Commercial Street
Located in the heart of Olde Town Conyers, 909 Commercial street served the community for many years as a general store and then an art gallery before taking on its latest incarnation as the offices of attorney and restaurant owner Jorge Flores.
The building in its current form was built in 1929. In 1946, Robert Lawrence “Doc” Robinson and his cousin, John McWilliams, moved into the building to accommodate their expanding Otasco general store, which had outgrown its space on Center Street. Numbers carved into the wooden floor remain from those days. Robinson’s son, Wayne, said the numbers were used to measure wire and rope that was sold in the store.
Robinson and McWilliams retired in the 1970s and the building was sold to Glen Hodges. During the 1980s, the building housed a bicycle store and repair shop.
In 1990, D. Morgan and her husband, Ed Messer, purchased the building. It became home to the D. Morgan Gallery and Gifts. D. Morgan’s work drew national attention and the store became a destination for art lovers who sought out her original artwork, prints, and decorations. She drew inspiration for her artwork from nature, home, the Christmas season, and much more, in ways that connected with fans.
In 2008, the Olde Town Art Gallery and Studio moved into the building and served as a destination for the visual arts in the east metro region. The non-profit organization exhibited the works of more than 30 artists and provided classes to the public in drawing, painting, stained glass, pottery and photography until it closed in 2011.
Local attorney Jorge Flores moved into the building in June 2013. The office space is designed for the functionality of a law office while also holding several unique pieces of art and handcrafted furniture. Flores said his collection is eclectic and is made of items that have caught his eye. He said the art in his office is displayed in nontraditional ways with the hope of the viewer appreciating each piece from a different point of view.